Friday, 30 September 2022

Apathy!

I haven’t posted anything for a little while. Mostly this is due to work and other commitments but to be honest my life isn’t that busy that I can’t spare a few minutes to write a bit of nonsense about our club.

Remember, “nothing else matters” right? Hmm, well maybe not at the moment. The word apathy popped up a few times on Charlton Live last Sunday and I guess it sums up the mood for most Addicks at present. 

I’ve yet to attend a league game at home on a Saturday this season. A combination of rails strikes and my holiday have put paid to that. I could drive as I’ve done many times in the past but with roads busier than usual I don’t fancy it.

There’s also the social aspect of the matchday experience and sans a beer or two it wouldn’t quite be the same.

Again though, rather like my not put fingers to keyboard, I’m not sure I’m too moved to make that extra effort.

It’s not a good place to be but then neither is the club.

Tomorrow’s game sees Robinson return with his Oxford team. I really don’t miss seeing him in our dugout and I haven’t forgotten his smug expression when he walked away in his last game with us. We’d just witnessed a dreadful game in the freezing cold as I recall.

Then I’m sure he’d already sorted his move to Oxford and you sensed he wasn’t fussed about what had just gone before.

The U’s aren’t matching their achievements of last season and this campaign has got off to a bad start, rather like ours.  

Last time out they lost to MK in what was by all accounts a poor game. Gobbo might come under a bit of pressure as the fans are getting a bit restless and the club has new owners. A couple of Indonesian investors who been involved for some time but have now taken a controlling 51% stake in the club.

It’s unlikely they will want to see an upturn in fortunes. Of course, it’d no surprise it that started tomorrow in S.E.7!

One player who is always a threat is Cameron Brannagan and I recall he secured me a win as I’d bet he’d score against us last time out. He left it late and it made little difference to the outcome but not my bank balance. Cameron is always worth a punt given he’s usually on free kick duty and is pretty good.

This presents a good opportunity to break that winless run in the league that stretches back to the 5-1 win over Plymouth that seems a lifetime ago now! It was also the only time that Stockley has scored this season albeit that it was from the spot of course!

Should we put on a poor display and draw or even worse, lose, then the atmosphere really will be bad aside from the impending basement battle to become more of a reality.

To get a win then we need to seriously up our defending from last week. In fact, improve on the last few weeks. I assume when Garner is so gushing about how well we’ve trained we haven’t actually done any focusing on defending!!!

The lack of a settled back 5 really doesn’t help and it’s changing every week. I can’t recall if we’ve actually had two successive games with the same defensive unit.

I’m not sure if the banjo man will be present but it would probably be wise for him to stay away at the moment. He doesn’t follow common logic or listen to anyone so he’ll probably put himself on show if he’s in the UK.

Given his recent low profile on social media and actions, I wonder if he’s also getting a feeling of apathy too? We’ll see!

Come On You Reds!

Friday, 16 September 2022

Desperate Times

Tomorrow is last opportunity for the Addicks to salvage something from an awful week. We’ve had a lot of those in recent times and this one is right up there. 

Everywhere you look the club stinks. Things show no sign of improving and our only hope is that Sandgaard is looking to sell and that someone out there has the dosh, willingness to buy and comes with good intentions. 

As I’ve said before the writing’s been on the wall for some time in respect of attention seeking owner. When he brought his son to the club, got his missus deeply involved (although she seems to be sans portfolio) and started to dictate the style of play he became pretty much the same as Duchatelet. 

Picking the team, ordering a playing style…….what’s the difference? Should Garner want to change from his preferred system, I wonder if he’d be able or feel confident enough to? 

I won’t go into the stupid comments from Rifkind. They don’t warrant wasting one’s time over. They were just another layer of s**t in an already dispiriting few days. 

One hopes that the banjo man will depart soon. If he doesn’t then we are seriously in trouble. Maybe even worse than how we were under Roland. That speaks volumes! 

I struggle to see us winning any game at present having failed to overcome a poor side in FGR and one that could so easily have beaten us! 

On the pitch there’s an enforced change to the back four. As if it hasn’t been messed around enough already and as pointed out on Charlton Live yesterday, poor Wollacott can’t be helped by it changing from game to game. 

I had tried to excuse Inniss his reckless challenge on the basis that his first yellow wasn’t merited. However, on reflection he proved how vulnerable he is to doing that and it was plain daft. After that tackle last season I didn’t want him at the club. He is a liability. 

Fleetwood may be only a point and I believe, one place above us ( I can’t be bothered to check!) but they will prove tough opposition tomorrow. They’ve drawn many games but in amongst that they’ve been against good sides and with a couple of decent wins. 

At least a seaside town will provide some light relief for those fans brave and loyal enough to make the trip. Good luck to them. 

Fraser should return tomorrow along with Lavelle. As for the rest of the team then, who apart from Dobson, really deserves to start? You could argue cases for many to either be dropped or to come in as there’s nothing much better. 

Unless things change I really see us having to fight relegation this season. Even then, should Thomas decide to invest in January (assuming he’s still here) then he’ll struggle to do good business in the notoriously difficult transfer window. 

Fingers crossed that we can get something tomorrow (yes, it’s that desperate to say that when we’re playing Fleetwood) and best wishes to the travelling support. 

Come On You Reds!

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

The Chickens Are Coming Home To Roost!

Following the poor display against Bolton, Garner certainly rang the changes in making 6 alterations to the starting line up with full debuts for Leaburn and Chin.

Initially, it looked like it had the desired effect with the Addicks starting on the front foot and taking an early lead. Foolishly, some of us started to wonder if we might see another hatful of goals on a Tuesday night.

That notion became more fanciful as the half wore on and we squandered a number of opportunities. A lack of composure and poor decision making in the final third are the main reasons.

After his excellent goal, CBT seemed to lose his way where his decision to shoot proved the wrong one as time and again as his shots increasingly threatened the corner flag rather than Rovers’ goal!

JRS flattered to deceive and he reminded somewhat of Callum Harriott determined to beat at least 5 or 6 players before trying to shot if he wasn’t already dispossessed!

As we know, when you’re on top you must score and our failure that add at least a second in the first half proved costly. Wollacott unnecessarily came for a cross and chose the wrong option. He needed to punch the ball, went for the catch and Connor Wickham said thanks very much. A player of his ability and experience isn’t going to turn that down. 

Not everyone had a wasted evening though as the lad who did the crossbar challenge pocketed £11.5k. Well done to him. He was coolness personified and had clearly prepped properly for it. He was possessed of an accuracy sadly lacking in most of our team!

Since putting 5 past Plymouth we have failed to score more than one goal in drawing 3 games and losing one. In those games, we’ve failed to keep a clean sheet. In fact, we’ve only kept a clean sheet against Derby and we were lucky to do so then!

The last few games have seen the chickens coming home to roost. The writing’s been on the wall for some time. Ridding ourselves of 3 strikers and not recruiting at least one decent one in return was always going to bite us on the backside.

It is a shocking way to the run the club and is an awful way to treat the manager and fans.

Sandgaard had the luxury of witnessing a few games in the knowledge the Aneke was injured again! Yet, still he chose not to invest in a striker. The man’s a fool and is so na├»ve in respect of running a football club.

One only has to look at the stupid statements he’s made since he joined us to see that. On and off the pitch the man is a disaster.

Tickets are overpriced and the crowds are dwindling not least because of the expense but the football and perhaps, more importantly, results are awful.

I think even he will acknowledge that privately. He’s gone very quiet on social media.

I fear that we’re heading into a relegation fight. Our failure to beat poor and mediocre teams won’t do and we’re only heading one way. A point from these matches is simply not good enough.

I really feel for Garner as he’s left to try and get something out of a squad that is now reliant on young, inexperienced academy players. A few more suspensions and injuries and then some of us can expect a call!

As Peter Finch tweeted last night, “The owner promised a dream, and is delivering a nightmare”!

Too true!

Monday, 5 September 2022

Night Follows Day

I guess the only surprise greater than our loss on Saturday was that we took an early lead. A lead so early, that few of us can recall the last time we went ahead so quickly.

It was a false dawn and Bolton were back on level terms within a few minutes. Just before half time and the Trotters had established lead that they went on to extend in the second period.

It was perhaps an entirely predictable result given the manner of the closing of the transfer window on Thursday. Certainly Garner will have been deflated by events and it must be hard to hide that from the team who themselves one would think, will have been as disappointed as the fans.

Post match and Garner was refreshingly honest in his assessment of the game and the Addicks prospects for the season.

One has to feel for Garner, the latest Charlton manager not to be supported by Sandgaard. He must feel acutely let down and in luring him to the Valley, the owner must have given him certain assurances regarding the squad that he sought to assemble.

Early on it did seem as though the gaffer was getting that but on reflection, especially when considering no fee was paid for any new recruit, it wasn't unequivocal. 

I can't believe that Garner wouldn't have wanted to add another striker for some time. Surely, it would have been one that was more suited to his system than the unfortunate Stockley.

The skipper's run of failing to score from open play continues and whilst being captain and with no other realistic alternative, his place team in the team looks secure. Under any other circumstances he would probably be dropped but that remains unlikely. How long that goes on for is anyone's guess but I can't see things changing anytime soon.

As we've seen off the pitch, no one's job is secure at the Valley and Garner's comments won't have helped his own position. Add to that Steve Gallen, who I'd not be surprised to see carry the can for the lacklustre end to the window.

One wonders what has happened to our recruitment process that so recently gave us some absolute gems and has us all wondering how Gallen repeatedly managed to pull rabbits from the hat. 

Perhaps it's simply that previously he was very much entrusted to get on with the job with minimal interference. Gallen was unencumbered by someone who had little to no experience of football although had overseen a team of 80 people and was superb at analysing data albeit in a totally different sector.

Who knows if Garner and Gallen will see out the season. Sadly, it's not hard to imagine them both gone before season's end. They would be two more names to add to Sandgaard's list of casualties.

Such is the owner's drive to reduce costs via the shedding of players whilst trimming the squad that Garner has somehow to motivate players like JFC, DJ and Macca as all three seemingly were set to go even if just on loan. DJ's was a very last minute collapse we believe.

What of our owner now? The man who loves the limelight and the adulation has gone very quiet. He's almost invisible on Twitter to the point where we no longer even see the " Boom " every time we score. 

The last few months have seen an increase in prices in many areas of the club as part of the closing the gap measures between profit and loss. A number of fans were happy to tolerate that, presumably in the hope that money would be invested in the team. That clearly hasn't been the case.

This, allied to the usual crass comments about learning from the mistakes of previous transfer windows and the off field removal of loyal and long standing staff, have further destroyed the remaining loyalty and credibility that Sandgaard had.

It has become clear to even the most ardent of Sandgaard loyalists that his words won't be backed up by actions. It really would seem that he is preparing to sell. To be honest, I wouldn't be disappointed if he  did. He'd be the latest in a long line of football club owners who've misjudged how expensive and difficult it is to run one.

In the meantime, Garner has a week to try and rejuvenate the troops ahead of Saturday's game at home to an Exeter City team that has made a pretty good start to the season and sit in 7th place. 

At least until January, the Addicks will pray for fewer injuries and that somehow, Aneke can at least get a few minutes on the pitch whilst the youngsters can produce some magic. I don't envy him the task and he needs all the support that we can give him because apparently, he won't get it from above!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Friday, 2 September 2022

No Doubting Thomas!

There you have it! To no one’s great surprise, we didn’t sign anyone before the transfer window closed.

We shipped 3 players out on loan but no one came in. An apparent last minute attempt to get Bonne in on loan failed, mainly we understand, because having left it so late we ended up being played.

You can forget any thoughts of us getting into the play-offs now. We will do well to achieve a mid-table finish.

There will be those who will say we’re in 8th place having played some of the better teams. True but we’re only 6 games into the season and injuries having already taken effect for some players are only just beginning to bite.

Crucially, that includes one of the few strikers we have. Even Prince Andrew has made more public appearances than Chuks recently.

Given that it was months ago that we lost 3 forwards and no attempt was made to recruit even one replacement, it was increasingly obvious that Sandgaard wasn’t bothered.

Don’t be fooled by the eleventh hour token gesture to get Bonne. I suspect that Sandgaard was relieved when QPR made it difficult. You can’t blame them and no doubt our very own “Springsteen” would have done the same.

We have one solitary, experienced striker and he has only one goal to his name and that was from a penalty. Had he not been made captain and the last man standing then he would have been dropped by now. He’d also be playing better too no doubt, motivated by the pressure of someone potentially taking his place.

The desperation was clear when we played Wednesday away and even though he felt unwell, he was required to play for an hour.

These latest shenanigans are the very latest in a series of developments both on and off the pitch that progressively reveal more about our owner.

With every day he looks like a poor man’s Del Boy. Everything is being done on the cheap as the reality of running a football club, not least in financial terms, becomes apparent. 

I doubt Thomas will parade himself in front of the fans at Bolton tomorrow. Even he isn’t so silly as to not anticipate the reception he would get.

All the bluster that Sandgaard has treated us to since he arrived is now exposed as just that. The soundbites and promises, and there are many, are merely words.

Premier league ready, blow the league out of the water, close to appointing a Champs League winning manager, Premier League and Europe in 5 years, football is easy……..etc. etc.

Managers, players and loyal, long standing staff, have gone as have a few short term ones. Those are mostly the failed appointments of our illustrious owner.

The replacements are cheap or related or even both in some cases. Advice is ignored as common sense gives way to a massive ego that believes it knows best.

Not to be outdone by Papa, Junior has further shown his unsuitably for his job by the latest recruitment failure and his naivety in declaring a done deal when it patently wasn’t!

As I said in my last piece, it’s probably best if Sandgaard packs his bags and leaves. It would seem he’s making plans to do so. Hopefully, we may finally get a decent owner that our club so needs and deserves.

In the meantime, all the best to those Addicks travelling up to Bolton tomorrow. Let’s hope you are rewarded with a win. We all need cheering up!

Come On You Reds!